Australia’s universities have been warned of the dangers in their growing reliance on fee income from foreign students.

Should the billions of dollars the institutions earn each year by selling higher education to foreigners dry up, many could face serious consequences, even collapse.

“As China continues to build its capacity and quality to educate its own people, the appetite of its students for offshore study could diminish in the coming years,” says Angel Calderon, a principal advisor for institutional research and planning at RMIT University in Melbourne.

Calderon says Australian universities should have a “sound risk management strategy”, realising that the loss of a market the size of China’s could create an upheaval in the way the institutions currently operate.

He notes that Australian universities now have total annual revenues of more than AU$32 billion a year (US$21 billion). But while more than half that huge sum is provided from government sources and the national student loan programme, almost 25% comes from international student fees and charges.

Read more : Geoff Maslen : University World News : 06 March 2020